China and the EU hold high-level dialogue to promote people-to-people exchanges

BEIJING: The sixth meeting of the China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue was held in Beijing on Friday, with China and the European Union (EU) agreeing to further promote people-to-people exchanges and practical cooperation.

Chinese State Councilor Shen Yiqin held the dialogue with Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.

The two sides discussed the key role of education in underpinning the transition towards a greener society and the need for more balanced student mobility, which experienced a major setback during the COVID-19 period. The theme of this year’s dialogue is “working together for a greener and more sustainable future”.

Shen said that China and the EU should implement the important consensus reached by leaders of both sides, and work within the framework of the high-level dialogue mechanism to facilitate personnel exchanges, and enhance exchanges and cooperation on education, science and technology, culture, media, sports, youth and women, dynamizing the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the EU.

Ivanova said that the EU is willing to work with China to achieve more results in people-to-people exchanges and practical cooperation. She stressed that young people are the most active force in society and they’re at the forefront of the fight against climate change, so it’s important for governments to make efforts to help people develop an environmental mindset and support them.

Founded in 2012, the people-to-people dialogue, together with the China-EU High-Level Strategic Dialogue and China-EU High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, have become the three main pillars of the China-EU relationship. The dialogue this year was the first in-person meeting since 2017 and was held as a follow-up to the China-EU Summit that took place in Beijing in December last year.

China and the EU have resumed exchanges and dialogue at all levels since the pandemic. As of November 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and other European leaders visited China one after another. Meanwhile, China has begun allowing visa-free entry for travelers from more European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria and Belgium.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]

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